When you take your dog for a walk, you might expect to see some squirrels, maybe a bunny, but an alligator typically stays off one’s radar. However, this Idaho dog walker stumbled across something that caught them totally off guard: an alligator.
On Thursday, the unnamed dog-walker was strolling through New Plymouth, located along the state’s border with Oregon. During the walk, they “spotted something moving the brush,” according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Upon closer inspection, they discovered it wasn’t a rabbit or a squirrel, but a small, nearly four-foot-long gator. Stunned, the dog walker picked up the reptile, put it into a nearby horse trailer, and called Fish and Game. The agency picked up the creature the following day.
In Idaho, it is illegal to possess an alligator without proper permits. Oddly enough, per the agency, the species is not found in the state.
The creatures are rarely found outside the southeastern US, well over 1,500 miles from New Plymouth, Idaho.
Currently, officials are still unclear about how the reptile ended up in the northwestern state, but they are investigating the case.
“In all likelihood, this alligator got loose from someone, and we are interested in finding the owner,” Regional Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell said in a statement.
According to reports, adult alligators can grow to be about eight to 11 feet long on average. The larger reptiles tend to be found on the east and Gulf coasts, as far north as North Carolina and as far west as eastern Texas. According to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Florida and Louisiana have the country’s two highest alligator populations, with over a million living in each state.
Florida golfer captures wild moment alligator ambushes another of its kind
Recently, Florida resident Travis Akers got the surprise of a lifetime after he saw an alligator go after an egret. At the time, he was at a golf course working on his swing. He later posted the footage to Twitter on Oct. 19.
In the clip, viewers can see an alligator creep up behind a great egret, thinking it’s about to have a snack. Meanwhile, the egret walks around slowly, not paying much attention to what’s happening behind it. Then, the unthinkable happens.
In the blink of an eye, a much larger alligator barrels out of the bushes and ambushes the first alligator right as it’s about to feast on the bird. The dominant alligator holds the other thrashing gator in midair for a few seconds before carrying it into the water.
Unlike some, the creatures are known to be cannibalistic. Usually, elder gators will chomp on younger ones. However, eating another gator is more likely a show of territoriality and dominance rather than a predatory reaction.